The design category features all blog posts related to the broad subject of design and all kinds of design in today’s world, from Web design to graphic design.

Google Mobile-friendly Sites Rank Higher. Is your site ready?

Mobile-friendly sites ranked higher by Google

Mobile-friendly sites ranked higher by Google from 21st of April 2015

Mobile-Friendly Sites To Rank Higher

If you’re website is not mobile friendly, its web ranking will drop when Google’s new algorithm is implemented.

From the 21st of April, Google’s mobile-friendly test becomes a ranking factor in their mobile search engine.

Have you ever noticed the grey Mobile-friendly text beside the description of a website on a mobile device? Well that basically tells the user that the site is responsive: suitable for mobile use.

All mobile-friendly sites will rank higher in Google’s search engine for mobiles if they conform… Test your website using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. If you get the green light, then you’re OK.

If your site isn’t responsive or mobile-friendly (they’re pretty much the same thing), then talk to us today to have it designed for all devices. We not only translate websites and digital marketing material, but design websites for use on desktop, tablet and smart phone devices.

Stay ahead of the game with a clear, easy-to-navigate mobile-friendly website.

Talk to our team at the Smart Business Show this week…

Ask us about designing a mobile-friendly site for your business and translating it into any language.

Graham,
The STAR Team

Sweden Sans

Sweden Sans, National Font for a Modern Country

Sweden Sans

Sweden Sans Typeface

Sweden Sans Becomes First National Font Ever

Swedish designers were given the task of creating a national font and they called it Sweden Sans.

A design agency in Stockholm was commissioned to create a typeface to be used by the Swedish government and corporations. Taking national identity to the next level.

Sweden Sans and Lagom

The designers were handed a brief to come up with a new font that would replace the various ones used on the sites of government ministries, agencies and corporations. The idea is to integrate the nation’s public information into one visual brand identity. The font had to be “fresh and dynamic”, representing Sweden to the world.

For one designer, “it was a big responsibility to be representing our country, but we were really proud to be asked,” said Stefan Hattenbach from the Söderhavet design agency in Stockholm. “Aesthetics are very important in Sweden and we have a long tradition of great architecture, furniture and design — so this was the natural next step.”

Joined with him was head of design at Söderhavet, Jesper Robinell; “we started to think about how it would work with different typefaces, then started mood boards with different fonts and pictures – especially of old Swedish signs we’d seen from the 1940s and 50s.” The pair started looking at the Swedish national flag, that yellow Scandinavian cross against a bright blue background (used since the 1600s). Combining their sketches with modern electro music, to disco and even Bob Marley.

After about six months of designing, they had drafted a modern, geometric font based on the normal sans-serif but with a few stylish tweaks to it.

“We have an expression in Swedish, lagom,” states Robinell, “which means ‘not too much and not too little,’ something in the middle that means you’re content. We Swedes are happy with that. And lagom is what we’ve aimed for with Sweden Sans.”

“We have an expression in Swedish, lagom […] which means ‘not too much and not too little,’ something in the middle that means you’re content. We Swedes are happy with that. And lagom is what we’ve aimed for with Sweden Sans.”

The Q

Both pointing out that they’re really pleased with the look of the letter Q, in particular. “It has a tail,” they mention.

“It’s all about Scandinavian minimalism. If they notice the typeface too much, it hasn’t worked.” The agency has also received other design briefs from other countries looking for something similar, but they didn’t go into detail: “We can’t name names,” Hattenbach states, “as the projects are still in their first phases, but we’re currently ‘in discussions’ to do much more nation branding in future.”

We love the new Sweden Sans font and the idea behind it. What are your thoughts on it, and a nation having a brand identity?

The STAR Team

Source: The Guardian

Killer Landing Pages By Google

Google Breakfast Briefing: landing pages by Google

Landing pages by Google

Web designers and marketing gurus are always on the lookout for the next killer design for landing pages or home pages.

Getting new customers to your site and then having them buy, or convert […] is a tough challenge. Recently, Google held a presentation in the Foundry, part of Google’s EMEA HQ called Breakfast Briefing to share their best practice advice for website design.

Damian Scattergood, our managing director, attended and here’s what he learned…

Landing pages
Interestingly, the most important point about landing pages is that “Every page on your website is a landing page”. In terms of SEO and the copy on your website, you should consider every page as a landing page. People often consider a few pages as actual landing pages though. The logic is that at some stage, someone will land on any page of your website. What will they do when they get there? Every page should be a landing page and have a call to action on it.
Keep it simple
Google advised that all web pages should be simple and to the point. Don’t talk about how brilliant you are. Nobody really cares. They came to your page for a reason; if they want to buy a washing machine, they’ll need to know the price, credit terms and how to buy it. That’s it! They can drill down into other pages if they want more information. Don’t overcrowd your pages with text either. We were shown an example of a dentist’s website that talked about where they were located and how great the clinic is however, the site didn’t mention anything about teeth.
Use simple graphics
When it comes to web design, keep the images strong but limited. On an obvious note, it takes ages to download lots of images which makes users frustrated. Design your site yo be simple, giving a general idea means that it’s clear and easy for users to find what they want and how to do it.
CTA (Call to action)
Make sure all your pages have clear call to action buttons. Just one is sufficient. Two at maximum. Make it easy for your customers to read your text by keeping it short and straightforward. Make the site easy to navigate so that they can find the next step in the process. Do you want them to call , email or send something to you?
Short web pages
In today’s busy world, people don’t have time to scroll down 2 to 3 pages to get to the information they need. It should always be visible. On smartphones this is even more important; keep your pages short and to the point.
Use bullet points
Bullet lists are easy to read. If you have lots of information on features of the products / services you sell, then list them as 1, 2, 3… It’s easy to read and to the point. Long descriptive passages aren’t read anymore. Keep bullet points on one line. Don’t turn them into “bullet paragraphs”.

We hope this helps you on the way to improving your landing pages and getting the conversions you need.

The STAR Team

How to Write like an Architect

How to Write like an Architect, Set Square Required

If you’re a fan of fonts and design, you’ll like this short video.

It’s a bit of fun, but interesting to see the process of how this designer writes like an architect.

We found this video interesting from a few different aspects. Firstly, it’s a nice font and it shows how you can write in a neat manner; something we can all use on our next signs / posters on the office noticeboard. Secondly, it’s also showing a technical process and how you can use your T-square and set square to draft the lines to draw a super neat font, an impressive technical skill.

Doug Patt who put this together is a mechanical design engineer and it’s a smart way to advertise his business.

Finally, it’s a good instructional video – short and to the point.

The STAR Team

Browsershots, Check how you look in 85 different ways

Browsershots Web design checker, responsive and cross-compatible Web design

Browsershots Web Design Checker

Browsershots is a new, free open-source online service created by Johann C. Rocholl.

It takes screenshots of your website in different browsers, so you can see exactly how your customers see your new website. It’s also called cross-browser compatibility — perfect for checking your latest designs across all popular browsers.

Visit Browsershots and try it out.

The STAR Team

What is the best font to use on my site?

Trying to decide what the best font and style to use on your next international site can be tricky. Especially when you are trying to see if your foreign character sets will be ok.

A great site to visit that allows you to try various styles/fonts and sizes is the typetester site from Maratz. http://typetester.maratz.com/

Select the best font to use on your website!